Quarterly Report: 2010, April - June (Q4), Larsen Bay

Community:
Larsen Bay 
Staff:
Tammy Helms  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Larsen Bay 
Population:
83  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
8/17/2010 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is supplied from two groundwater sources--gravity feed from the hydro plant, and a well as backup, and stored in a 200,000 gallon tank. A water supply line is connected to the penstock of the hydroelectric plant and used a majority of the time to reduce utility expenses to both the service plant and the customer. All 40 homes are connected to the piped water system. A community septic tank with an outfall line serves these homes, and the majority of them are fully plumbed. Weekly refuse collection services are provided. The community incinerator is currently unusable and all refuse is deposited at the landfill site. The city has been funded for a water treatment plant project from Village Safe Water (VSW).  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On June 29, 2010 RUBA staff traveled to Larsen Bay to assist the water/wastewater billing clerk with required monthly and quarterly reporting. RUBA staff met with the mayor and billing clerk and helped the clerk complete the city's quarterly grant reports, and the IRS 941 and Department of Labor tax reports for the city and the city's electric utility company. RUBA staff also assisted the billing clerk in completing the May and June Power Cost Equalization (PCE) reports which will result in a reimbursement of $1,993 for May and $2,137 for June. RUBA staff also provided training on payroll assistance, payroll liabilities, review and correction memorized transactions within QuickBooks, how to itemize the phone bill payment per department, clarification of child support deductions and payment questions. RUBA staff received a tour of the new water treatment plant by ANTHC staff before departing the community. Earlier in the quarter, RUBA staff received a call from the Larsen Bay City Clerk requesting assistance in reviewing their draft FY11 budget. RUBA discovered that although the majority of the budget was complete, there were a few lines items in both the income and expense pages that had been over looked. RUBA staff discussed those items with the clerk in detail. The clerk made the proposed changes and then forwarded the budget to RUBA for a final review prior to submitting it to the city council.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The city council has a signed RUBA assistance agreement. RUBA staff will continue onsite visits quarterly to assist the community to meet all of the unmet management indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
48 of 54

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
Yes The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
Yes Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
Yes The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
Yes The utility has on hand a year's adequate fuel supply or it has a financial plan to purchase an adequate supply.
Yes The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources) sufficient to cover operating expenses.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources sufficient to cover operating expenses and Repair & Replacement (R) costs.
Yes YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.
Yes YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The City of Larsen Bay drafted and adopted the FY11 budget with RUBA assistance. RUBA staff trained the city cerk and billing clerk in preparing the proper monthly finance reports for the city council. The interfacility bills are being paid on a quarterly basis to allow accurate tracking of all expenses. The City of Larsen Bay received a large fuel order in November 2009 and has an adequate supply until late summer when another order will arrive. Although water and wastewater revenues are not sufficient to cover operating expenses, the City subsidizes its water and wastewater utility service through the electric sales. This subsidy is listed as a line item on the budget. Manager/operator reports are given verbally when requested from the council. The operator also has daily contact with the mayor and/or city clerk.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
Yes The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
Yes An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts.
Yes An accounts payable system is in place.
Yes The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
Yes A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent.
Yes The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes A chart of accounts is used that identifies categories in a reasonable, usable manner.
Yes Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts.
Yes The utility has a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase, and the approval process compares proposed purchases to budgeted amounts.
Accounting Systems Comments
The city council has an adopted collection policy and has been actively and consistently enforcing it. The city utilizes QuickBooks for accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll. The QuickBooks system is set up properly to reliably keep the city's finances in order. Bills are issued on a regular basis by the fifth of every month in accordance with the city's billing and collection policy. Monthly bank reconciliations are completed for each bank account then printed and filed for historical data. The city's purchasing system requires prior approval from the mayor or city clerk depending on the purchase amount. Once approval has been given a purchase order is issued.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
Yes The utility is current on filing tax reports.
Yes The utility is current on making tax deposits.
Yes If there are any past due tax liabilities or recorded tax liens, a lien release has been issued or a repayment agreement has been signed and repayments are current.
Tax Problems Comments
The city uses the QuickBooks accounting program to accurately track, calculate and report payroll tax liabilities. Liabilities are paid monthly and the quarterly reports are completed and mailed to the IRS on time. The city has not received any non-compliance notices from the IRS or DOL. Both IRS and DOL have deemed the city compliant at this time.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted and uses a Personnel Policy, which has been reviewed by an attorney, AML or Commerce for topics and language.
Yes The utility has adequate written job descriptions for all positions.
Yes The utility has adopted and follows a written personnel evaluation process that ties the job description to the evaluation.
Yes The utility has an adequate written hiring process.
Yes The utility has personnel folders on every employee that contain at least: I-9, Job Application and Letter of Acceptance.
Yes The utility has a probationary period for new hires that includes orientation, job training/oversight, and evaluations.
Yes The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
The City of Larsen Bay has a posted workers compensation insurance policy with AMLJIA in effect from 7/1/09 to 7/1/10. On December 9, 2008 the city council adopted a personnel policy. The city's current hiring process is historical and is not written. Job notices are posted for 10 days and include the job title and description. Interested applicants apply at the city office. There is no probationary period for employees. Training opportunities are provided as funds allow or opportunities by other sponsors come available.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
Yes The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
Yes The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained operator or operators.
Yes The utility has adopted the necessary ordinances (or rules and regulations) necessary to give it the authority to operate.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure.
Yes The policy making body meets as required.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The City of Larsen Bay is known as the entity that owns and operates the utility, and is active in policy making for the utility. The city clerk, with city council backing, has been actively enforcing utility policy. The clerk has attended a QuickBooks training class sponsored by the RUBA program. The utility operator is trained and has passed the Provisional Level 1 test. The city clerk attended a 32-hour RUBA training course for elected officials held April 19-23, 2010 in Kodiak.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
Yes The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing sanitation facilities.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The manager receives a monthly O&M report from the utility operator and routinely "spot checks" the facilities to see that the maintenance items are being completed.
Yes The utility has a safety manual and holds safety meetings.
Yes Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
No The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed.
Yes The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
Yes The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility has a preventative maintenance plan for the existing system. The City of Larsen Bay participates in AML/JIA monthly safety meetings. The utility operator is trained and can run the system and has passed the Provisional Level 1 test. The utility operator reports to the mayor, vice-mayor or city clerk when there is a problem or when he can foresee one. The utility is not able to operate at the level of service that was proposed because it is unable to backwash the rapid sand filter. The Solo-valve was deemed a cross connection by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC); however, the city is currently not on the SNC list. The utility operator and council attempt to keep needed critical spare parts on hand but they currently have no actual written list.